It was announced today that a new three year Innovation Partnership programme in food quality and safety has been signed between Enterprise Ireland and University College Dublin (UCD) today.
The €1.7 million Enterprise Ireland and industry funded programme, Sequencing Alliance for Food Environments (SAFE), aims to develop a new predictive software toolbox to enhance food quality and safety approaches, nationally and with global reach using environmental intelligence data.
It is a unique partnership between the UCD Centre for Food Safety and six leading food and nutrition companies including Dairygold, Dawn Farm Foods, Glanbia, Kerry, Mead Johnson Nutrition and Nutrition Supplies. Also included will be Creme Global, experts in predictive intake modelling software.
The SAFE programme aims to develop a new state-of-the-art food safety and quality decision making software toolbox to mitigate against the risk of bacterial contamination in the food supply chain in a smarter, faster and in a more specific and sustainable way.
During a 2-year period researchers at UCD will track the environments in a number of food manufacturing plants in Ireland belonging to the industry partners. These plants include infant formula grade ingredient plants, a cooked and fermented meat processing plant and a precision vitamin and mineral pre-mix manufacturing facility.
Director of Research and Innovation at Enterprise Ireland, Gearoid Mooney said, "By developing a state of the art safety and quality decision making toolset to mitigate the risk of contamination in the food supply chain, this project demonstrates a new level of partnership, collaboration and joined up thinking between our client companies and our research institutes."
UCD Professor of Food Safety, Professor Séamus Fanning added, "I am excited about the possibilities of what this research can deliver. This programme positions UCD researchers and our Irish food industry and software research collaborators at the forefront of surveillance with the potential to use this data to control their production environments and protect their consumers."